Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2010-10-25
Summary: Tsui still has it
Flat out flashy entertainment. This is a triumphant return to what Tsui Hark does so well. Many of his trademark motifs are evident. Eerie blue light in the forest around a temple. Colourful flowing silks as lovers and enemies do battle in the air. Surprise attacks by outrageous and vastly-overdone means. Huge structures collapsing. Skin-crawling netherworlds. Ah, I'm in heaven.

Sumptuous colourful images glide or flash past. Eye-popping historical (and pseudo-historical) costumes everywhere. Stuntpeople contort to Sammo Hung's frenetic choreography, ably assisted by some great CGI effects. Wow.

If you *really* want to be picky, nearly everyone except Andy hams it up wildly. But that's all part of the fun. And if you care to ponder, it is puzzling why characters who can easily take off in one scene are pretty much earthbound in another. Some of the rest breaks between the frenetic action pieces are a bit too long, but one can easily forgive these.

Is there much depth to the plot ? Well, Agatha Christie it ain't, but it kept me guessing. Welcome back, Tsui. Don't stay away so long next time, okay ?
Reviewer Score: 10